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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Kawasaki Daishi Temple 川崎大師(平間寺)

Visit Kawasaki's grandest Buddhist temple

Heiken-ji Temple, better known as Kawasaki Daishi, is a Buddhist temple complex that looks like it’s been pulled straight out of a painting.

Don't Miss

  • Beautifully ornamented Buddhist architecture
  • A chance to learn more about Tantric Buddhism
  • Gift shops and restaurants nearby

Quick Facts

The original structures of the temple were destroyed by war

Many stores sell Daruma dolls, a special symbol of New Year wishes

It’s an incredibly popular place for hatsumode, a Japanese New Year tradition

How to Get There

The temple is easily accessible from Kawasaki via train.

Catch the Keikyu Main Line at Keikyu Kawasaki Station and get off at Kawasaki Daishi Station. The trip from here is five minutes by foot. Kawasaki-Daishi Station is about 15 minutes from Yokohama Station on the Keikyu Main Line and Keikyu Daishi Line, and 20 or so minutes from Shinagawa Station in Tokyo on the same two lines.

A center of Tantric Buddhism

Kawasaki Daishi is the head temple for the Chisan sect of Shingon Buddhism, one of the few remaining forms of Tantric Buddhism in Japan. The large temple complex, which is nearly 900 years old, also honors Kukai, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, who lived several centuries before. A sacred image of Kukai is kept in the large main hall.

Explore the stunning hallways

The Sutra Hall is worth a visit for the more than 1,700 volumes of hand-printed Buddhist sutras and gorgeous religious paintings produced in the Chinese style.

One photo-worthy structure is the brightly painted octagonal pagoda. It is unusual in that most Japanese pagodas have only four sides.

A popular spot for New Year celebrations

Kawasaki Daishi is a popular destination for Japanese making their hatsumode, or first visit of the year to a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple. Around three million people descend upon Kawasaki Daishi during the Japanese New Year holidays.

Nearby food and shopping

Nakamise shopping street leading up to the temple has several restaurants and gift shops where you can find adorable daruma dolls, which in Japan are a symbol of good fortune and tenacity.

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